Monday, December 21, 2015

Portland Business Journal Company of the Year Awards

This year Pratt & Larson was honored to be a finalist in the Family Owned Manufacturing Company of the Year category in this years Portland Business Journal awards.  

The Business Journal solicited nominations for the Oregon Manufacturing Awards from the manufacturing community and their readers at large.  Nominations were divided into 5 categories based on number of employees as well as a family owned company of the year category.  The business journal’s editorial staff judged nominees based on financial performance, growth, innovation and job creation and retention. We are so proud to be recognized in this way as an important member of the Portland community. 
Read more about it in the Portland Business Journal here and here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New Scraffito Patterns

Back in 2013 we introduced our Scraffito series. Inspired by an ancient technique where the surface layer is scratched away to reveal a contrasting color, these designs have a wonderful hand drawn quality to them which is rarely seen in ceramics. Over the last two years the Scraffito series met with great success and continued popularity so we are pleased to announce that we have added four new designs to the series. 

Scraffito E 5x10        SC-510E
Scraffito F  5x10         SC-510F
Scraffito G  5x10        SC-510G
Scraffito H  5x10          SC-510H
These new designs are available in a 5x10.  Some of these patterns are directional so be sure to pay extra attention when you are installing them!
Scraffito E in W88
They can be ordered in a single color (Monochrome) using any one of our hundreds of glaze colors.The Watercolor glazes really show off the new patterns. The glaze pools in the recesses of the pattern and it becomes darker where it gathers.  
Scraffito F in C58
The Craftsman Glazes are a little more subtle, filling in the pattern here and there, creating different looks depending on the glaze. It's a good idea to order samples to see how the color you're considering reads on the pattern. 
C609 Scraffito G
The Craftsman Metallic glaze C609 bounces the light off of it's metallic surface, allowing the pattern to read in the subtle shine. 
R350 Scraffito H
Many R-glaze colors will pool in the patterns too, creating areas of light and dark to help the patterns read. Each color has its own look so it's important to order a sample.

You can also order the Scraffito series in Polywash, a two color process. This technique adds an accent color to the pattern. You choose both an overglaze color and an accent color There are eight accent colors you can use for Polywash shown on the tool board below.
PW 1 Polywash palette
The accent color is applied and then rubbed away leaving the accent color only in the recesses. 

The overglaze is sprayed on top of the accent color, adding a layer of transparent color. You can use any of the Watercolor glazes as an overglaze, just keep in mind the darker glazes will obscure the accent colors and the more contrast between your accent color and your overglaze color the bolder the pattern will be. The three pieces below show Scraffito pattern F using different combinations of Polywash accent colors and overglazes.
PW1 with Charcoal
PW60 with Indigo
PW79 with Mushroom
There are lots of looks you can create with these new designs. Check out our website for more ideas and information about these great new designs or if you're in Portland come by our showroom to see for yourself!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Big Bold Color Choices

This summer we were inspired by all of the uncharacteristically bright sunny days here in Portland to make some big bold colorful concept boards for our showroom.

Just because the summer is ending doesn't mean the fun should end! 

 Strong color choices are great for accent walls and smaller spaces like powder rooms.

Or if you're more adventurous, you can use big bold colors anywhere!  Here's a great gallery from Martha Stewart with lovely ideas on how to use bright colors in your decorating.

There is nothing like a blast of color to make a space feel more upbeat and fun. If you're looking for inspiration on how to use color in your designs try Pinterest or Houzz for some great images.

Pop into our showroom in Portland, Oregon for a factory tour or just to brighten up your day!

"The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered 'safe.' Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness."  - Dorothy Draper

Friday, July 17, 2015

A New Gas Kiln

We got a new gas kiln! It's a Formi kiln from Italy. 

It's much bigger than our other glaze kilns, So big in fact, it arrived with it's own forklift to get it off the truck and into our building!

There was a bad moment when we thought it wouldn't fit on the elevator...

but it just made it! (phew)

We cleared out a space for it and got it all set up. 

It can hold 3 to 4 times as much tile as our regular glaze kilns which are electric but first we'll have to run lots of experiments to see how our glaze colors react to the gas firing. 
Our R&D department is ready to put it to the test! 

Come visit our showroom and take a tour of our factory in the heart of Portland, OR. 
We'd love to show you around.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Pratt & Larson Bevel Tile

The Bevel tile is a timeless classic. Made famous in the Paris Metro stations in the early 1900's it still remains a popular choice for today's kitchens and bathrooms. Pratt & Larson offers three sizes of Bevel tile: 3x6, 4x8 & 5x10 plus squares in 3x3, 4x4 & 5x5. Download our brochure here.

Metro Bevel tile in a Paris subway station - from wikipedia
By 1910 those old Paris subway stations were getting pretty ornate.
A white glaze is a popular choice and it can work with installations of any style, from traditional to contemporary. We have a wide range of whites to choose from in glossy, crackle, satin or matte.

P&L 3x6 Bevel tile in a glossy white.
In a flashy metallic glaze like C607 shown here it creates a dramatic, luxurious effect.

From Rebecca Reynolds and the Kitchen Design Network
Craftsman Metallic glazes C600 & C607

The beauty of ordering a Bevel from Pratt & Larson is that you have hundreds of colors to choose from and each of our glazes creates a different effect.

Watercolor glazes pool at the lower edge of the bevel emphasizing the dimensions of the bevel.

W43 Bevel bathroom 
 In the image below you can see how the Watercolor glazes pool at the bottom edge of the bevel, accentuating its shape. In the darker colors this effect is more pronounced.

Watercolor Glazes W43, W87 & W1 
R-gloss glaze series has the most color options, from white to bright with a beautiful glossy sheen. These glazes are a little more opaque and soften the lines of the bevel slightly.

R-Gloss glazes RUW, R62, R147

With their soft sheen the Satin glazes are a beautiful choice for the Bevel tile.

Satin glaze S3
There are so many beautiful variations you can achieve with Pratt & Larson tile. See your options at a showroom near you and order some Bevel tile samples for your next project.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New Shapes from Pratt & Larson

The first thing to come to mind when you are thinking about tile is usually the classic but utilitarian square and rectangle or subway tile. While we have lots of variations on those timeless squares and rectangles, Pratt & Larson has a wide array of interesting and contemporary tile shapes as well. We've just recently added several new ones. Download the brochure from our website.

This is our new Elongated Fan. It's beautiful in a single color or in color blends, both light and dark, as you can see in these two concept boards. 

Similar in style is the new Elongated Crescent. It's a bit more streamlined and smaller than the Elongated Fan and almost has a retro look in the bright color version to the right. These pieces come loose so you can set them in any direction. The images above show you a couple of options, the first is all oriented in the same direction, the second changes direction from one row to the next, changing the look of the pattern dramatically.

The Rhomboid and the gem shaped Facet offer some sharp angles in contrast to the soft curves of the Elongated Crescent and Fan. In either high contrasting colors or a softer color blend they have a very contemporary and modern feel.

The Hourglass shape is a fresh take on a classic pattern sometimes known as the dog bone. Pratt & Larson's version uses a single shape that suggests a woven pattern when used in two colors. Choose a high contrast color combination for a dramatic basket weave or checkered effect.

The last time we added new shapes was back in 2012, check out the blog post for those fun shapes here.